Type: Loan | Category: Business Loans

Strategic Growth Loan

Program Description

The Strategic Growth Loan (SGL) program helps North Carolina life sciences companies reach specific and meaningful milestones to obtain further funding from investors and commercialize their products. For most applicants, SGL awards of $350,000 to $500,000 will be matched by an equal or greater investment from one or more organized angel groups or venture capital firms.

For certain exceptionally well-qualified applicants who have a larger matching investment from a top-tier life science investment group, an SGL award of $500,000 to $650,000 will be possible.


To be eligible to apply for the SGL, it must meet the minimum criteria below:

  • Have a significant operating presence in North Carolina. To establish a significant presence, the company must (i) maintain its head office (where its books and records are kept, taxes are paid and senior management is located) in North Carolina as reported to the Secretary of State and/or (ii) conduct significant research, product development, or manufacturing activity in North Carolina.

  • Be engaged in life sciences research, development, or manufacturing to develop a product or technology with commercial potential.

  • Have achieved a robust technical and commercially promising proof-of-principle of its technology for the intended product or application.

  • Have a committed, dedicated management team and a solid business plan.

  • Have valid license(s) to the relevant core intellectual property expected to be necessary for the company to commercialize its product or technology.

  • Obtain a commitment from an Angel Group or VC for an equity investment or loan at least equal in value to the amount being sought under the SGL. Matching investor(s) must have significant life sciences investing experience, conduct formal due diligence, be willing to share the outcome of this due diligence during the application process and have additional funds set aside for future investments in the company.

  • Have completed all project(s) funded by any previously-awarded NCBiotech loan(s).

NCBiotech determines compliance with these requirements in its sole discretion on a case-by-case basis.

Application Process

Companies interested in applying for a Strategic Growth Loan should contact NCBiotech's SGL program director listed in the Contact section below to discuss the company, its proposed project, and the application procedures. After this discussion, company representatives may be invited to the Biotechnology Center to make an initial presentation.

Pre-Application: Once the applicant’s eligibility and general fit for the program have been established, the company may be invited to submit a pre-application describing the company’s management, technology, proposed project, budget, and source of matching funds.

Full Application: Upon satisfactory review of the pre-application, the company may be invited to submit a full application. This application will include the company’s complete business plan, project proposal, financial statements, matching investment commitment, and other supporting documentation.

Review and Approval: The investment team will thoroughly review the company’s application and solicit independent, third-party reviewers to help evaluate the technical and commercial merits of the proposal. Competitive applications will be presented to NCBiotech's committee of its board of directors for final review and approval.

Application Deadlines:

Pre-Application must be
submitted no later than:
And full application
must be submitted by:
For potential review
by EIC in:
August 20, 2024September 24, 2024December 13, 2024
November 4, 2024December 4, 2024March 7, 2025
February 12, 2025March 19, 2025June 6, 2025
May 22, 2025June 23, 2025September 12, 2025

Loan Terms

The Strategic Growth Loan consists of:

  • A senior, unsecured loan with favorable terms including:
    • Five-year fixed term with a balloon payment at maturity for principal and accrued interest
    • Interest rate equal to the current prime rate plus 2%, with a maximum rate of 7%
  • A warrant to purchase company stock

Loan Disbursement

Successful applicants will receive the loan funds according to the following schedule:

  • 50% of the loan amount at closing
  • An additional 40% upon receipt and approval of a mid-term project report
  • The final 10% upon receipt and approval of a final project report

Mid-term and final reports include a detailed update of progress against proposed milestones (including supporting documentation) and actual spending versus budget. The Biotechnology Center will actively monitor the company’s progress until the Strategic Growth Loan is repaid in full. Periodic progress reports and occasional site visits will be required.

Type: Loan | Category: Business Loans

Strategic Growth Loan

Maximum Award: $650,000

Deadline: Quarterly

For questions or more information, contact:
Jen Greenstein, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Investments Emerging Company Development 919-549-8846 | jen_greenstein@ncbiotech.org

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